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70% of African Americans backed Prop. 8, exit poll finds

A lot of Obama/Yes-on-8 voters? The Associated Press exit polls show that African Americans and Latinos backed Proposition 8 in good numbers. Details here from AP:

California's black and Latino voters, who turned out in droves for Barack Obama, also provided key support in favor of the state's same-sex marriage ban. Seven in 10 black voters backed a successful ballot measure to overturn the California Supreme Court's May decision allowing same-sex marriage, according to exit polls for The Associated Press.

More than half of Latino voters supported Proposition 8, while whites were split. Religious groups led the tightly organized campaign for the measure, and religious voters were decisive in getting it passed. Of the seven in 10 voters who described themselves as Christian, two-thirds backed the initiative. Married voters and voters with children strongly supported Proposition 8. Unmarried voters were heavily opposed.

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (399)

Jax: "As a Canadian I am blown away that your neighbour can decide your human rights for you."

As a fellow Canadian, do allow me to say that you're spouting nonsense. I (and a presumably large majority of Californians) believe that same-sex couples deserve full human rights no less than anyone. They can do anything, including sleep and live with each other. I (and...) fully support civil partnerships that would give them all the rights associated with marriage. But having a >recognizedright< to that; your neighbours are the only ones who can decide to grant it.

Andrew: "Uneducated, easily swayed voters should not be allowed to put propositions on the ballot."

Reading about "uneducated, easily swayed voters," I thought, for a moment, that I was on one of the right-wing blogs lamenting the election results.

Open question for everyone: While ambivalent about SSM, I personally don't buy the "it weakens traditional marriage" argument. I (single het, btw) have sympathy for those who claim that this argument is just a cover for those who would oppose it anyway. That said, how do we reconcile this claim with the great voting disparity between married and unmarried people?

I'm a black woman who voted no on proposition 8. I'm saddened that 70% of African Americans who responded to the exit poll reported on voted yes on 8. I don't know how well exit polls represent the actual vote, but it is sad nonetheless.

The comments on this board have been eye-opening. I see a large number of white gays comfortable with openly expressing bigotry and condescension towards blacks; neatly ignoring the fact that there are black gays in the rush to scapegoat. Learn from Obama's campaign - target the groups you want to support you and learn to appeal to them using language they understand. You can't go wrong that way.
I'd suggest two angles: (1) creatively presenting the marriage issue as a civil rights issue in a way that even those with only a grade school education can understand , and (2) explaining to people that they don't want a theocracy in effect in California: just as I shouldn't be governed based on the rules from someone's bible, Christians shouldn't be governed by the rules of Hinduism, Mormonism, Islam, or whatever religion might end up having a majority of voters in a state. There is a reason why we have separation of church and state.

I also feel that the L.A. Times did a disservice with this article, by focusing on one exit poll without giving any context as to how this relates to the actual vote, and by ignoring the fact that blacks make up only 10% of voters in California. The only reason to use the headline you did is to encourage scapegoating. It worked. Thanks for making every black person who voted no on proposition 8 somehow suspect in the rush to judgment.

The religious right are the people who created, funded, and campaigned for Prop. 8. Blaming African-Americans for passing Prop. 8 is very deceitful.

Stop pitting African-Americans against homosexuals.

Allan (and many others): "To all the people of faith that voted yes, what if I was to say to you that G-d created me as I am"...

G-d created pedophiles too. Now obviously (it should go without saying, but some people are quick to assume the worst about others, and even quicker to take offense), there is a big difference between the two. I couldn't care less what two same-sex consenting adults do, while I wouldn't particularly mind if pedophiles who victimize children were castrated. But the argument that "G-d created me as I am, and thus He and his followers must accept the actions I do that follow from my nature" applies equally for both.

The bottom line is that according to most mainstream churches/synagogues/mosques (and others, cf Dalai Lama) G-d forbids homosexual sex. It would be quite reasonable for you to be pissed off at such a G-d, but those religions don't see G-d as a twinkly-eyed Santa Claus or an flower-child hippie. He is ineffable.

Your argument boils down to either
1. "I believe in the concept of sin, but I should be allowed to sin, because the sinful act flows from my (G-d-created) nature." In rebuttal, see pedophilia.
2. "I do not believe that G-d would forbid an act that flows from my nature, therefore anybody who believes such an act is a sin is mistaken." You are welcome to believe that, but by aiming this argument at others, you are moving from asking people to recognize your civil rights / grant you special accommodation, and instead asking them to renounce their religious beliefs. Good luck with that.

I am upset about this erroneous finger pointing at African-Americans regarding Proposition 8. Why are you so quick to believe whatever you hear? If someone told me 70 percent of gay people voted against Obama my first thought would be, excuse me Jesus, that is crap! I don't believe it! This political year was fraught with right wing lies. Bear that in mind.

"Religious organizations that support Proposition 8 include the Roman Catholic Church], Knights of Columbus, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) a group of Evangelical Christians led by Jim Garlow and Miles McPherson, American Family Association, Focus on the Family[and the National Organization for Marriage Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, California's largest, has also endorsed the measure. The Bishops of the California Catholic Conference released a statement supporting the proposition. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) has publicly supported the proposition and encouraged their membership to support it, by asking its members to donate money and volunteer time. The First Presidency of the church announced its support for Proposition 8 in a letter read in every congregation. Latter-day Saints have provided a significant source for financial donations in support of the proposition, both inside and outside the State of California. About 45% of out-of-state contributions to Protect Marriage.com has come from Utah, over three times more than any other state."

Still, even though gays were fighting to preserve a basic right, it was the anti-equality side in California that seemed to have the most fervor. A symbolic low point for the gay side came on Oct. 13, when the Sacramento Bee ran a remarkable story about Rick and Pam Patterson, a Mormon couple of modest means - he drives a 10-year-old Honda Civic, she raises their five boys - who had withdrawn $50,000 from their savings account and given it to the pro-8 campaign. "It was a decision we made very prayerfully," Pam Patterson, 48, told the Bee's Jennifer Garza. "Was it an easy decision? No. But it was a clear decision, one that had so much potential to benefit our children and their children.”

This is your real enemy. Don't trust exit polls. I think they are pitting one group against the other. African-Americans are less than 7% of the state population, do the math. Many more Whites voted and they put this over, not Blacks. What are the total numbers of each group that voted. Someone dug into the data and found that we're just now learning is that the exit poll was based on less than 2,300 people. If you take into account that blacks in California only make up about 6.2%, we get roughly 224 blacks who were polled. 224 blacks to blame an entire race! The original percentage of black voters who were expected to say yes to Prop 8 was only around 52-58%. Anytime you get a vote that much higher over the projected vote, something went wrong.

I know someone who watches C-Span and they said most Blacks did not even address the question at all. And they do not have the money to fund a tens of millions of dollars Proposition 8 campaign. Note that they also targeted affirmative action for eradication in another state.

I cannot believe that these groups get a pass and Blacks are being targeted for the blame game. Rather than be upset at the phantom African-American menace, fight like hell. There is no right wing black conspiracy against gay Americans. When you tried to align your struggle with that of Blacks you inherited their enemies. These same enemies are now trying to pit one against the other because they fear the combined numbers of both.

How many gay activists supported the civil rights movement in the 1960’s? Then how do you automatically expect support in return? Have you asked Blacks to support you or did you just assume?

No one gave Obama anything and they will not give gays anything either. Obama stands on the shoulders of a lot of brave people who gave their lives for him to stand on that podium last night.

Never trust exits polls because in all my years of life, no one has ever been seen at a polling place asking anyone anything when they left.

Don't fall for the lies.

The vast majority of the African-American community recognizes this: the Black Civil Rights movement and the gay rights movement are not the same.

Marriage is not a right. It is a privilege. Even if it were a right, our laws restrict rights all the time. One cannot marry his own mother; one cannot marry more than one wife; one can't marry a sister --- these are some basic restrictions that make a healthy population of voting citizens.

Even under prop 8, everyone still has the "right" to marry. Anyone can marry, but you can't marry just anyone you please.

In response to these two comments:

"The vast majority of the African-American community recognizes this: the Black Civil Rights movement and the gay rights movement are not the same."

-That's right they're not the same today. Today, Gays and lesbians had people vote their rights away. Yesteryear, the Supreme Court and the Legislature gave african-americans their rights. I don't mean to sound harsh, but where would the status of the african-american population be if "the people" were voting on whether they should be afforded equality back in the early 1960's?.

"Maybe African-Americans cared more about their votes counting. They voted for Prop 22, and probably didn't like a court throwing out their votes."

-Maybe the racists in America back in the 60's never got their chance to vote on equal/civil rights for african-americans. Do you think we'd still have an Obama presidency then?

What part of this that gays don't understand?
Is is that my skin color is dark (can hide) or I prefer fried chicken to bake chicken (a preference).

We blacks were discriminated against because of our SKIN COLOR not because we CHOOSE to eat fried chicken or baked. When sitting in a waiting room you look across the room and see me, you see a black person, you know not if I'm gay or straight.

You gays need to stop trying to make your fight the same as blacks! Maybe if you gays would paint yourself as the rainbow then maybe you will understand. Oh! Forgot just that fast you too can't change your skin color!

We woted for prop 8, and will wote again and again, if it would be necessary. No same sex marriage would be ever legal at California. No court, supervizors, politicians and lobbyists would stop our fight against this issue. Magority will win.

Hey Subway Train!!

Was that English? If so, you should work on writing coherent sentences. I would love to argue with what you said, but most of it didn't make any sense. I think uneducated people should be banned from marrying.

I am seriously starting to wish I hadn't voted for Obama. I will think twice before doing so again in 2012, and the bigtory shown by so many prejudiced black people will be the main reason why.

attention white gay community if you are that upset at the blacks and hispanics that voted yes, please go an protest in their communities on sundays at their place of worship. There are plenty of catholic, mosques, and baptist churces in east l.a , compton , oakland and other urban areas. Warning though sister odelles purse will feel real heavy on your head. lol First of all never been impressed with the liberals some can be just as racist than ultra consertatives. Liberal whites usuall use blacks for their own agenda. and god forbid we don't go along with their program. atleast reagan lovers are honest about how they feel about us ignorant low life blacks. And for the record not to many blacks are going to loose sleep over your lack of support. So have a nice life. peace

I just love all these "Christian" hate comments against gays and gay marriage. These hate mongrels love their rights concerning common "real" and “tangible property and other financial ties and social security benefits of their hetero-spouse; however, they love to voice their hatred toward gay people ... yes "PEOPLE." It just proves one thing; they give "using the Lord's name in vane" new meaning. These idiots never do their homework on social issue like this to try to discover new and improved values. They do not even realize that gays typically pay more taxes filing a single tax return rather than having the right to file jointly. YES, gays pay more taxes and even pay enormous SCHOOL TAX for your brat kids who go around disrespecting gays by saying, "That's so GAY!" You people are worthless to your religion and to humanity. The best part here is their conception of "the sanctity of marriage." Give me a break, if it is that sanctified, then why do 50% of you divorce in less than two years? My stance is this ... If gay people should not be allowed to marry, then heteros should not be allowed to divorce ... sounds fair to me. I oppose discrimination against gays and lesbians and am convinced that heterosexual adultery is a far greater danger to the institution of marriage than homosexuality will ever be. So you idiots need to do your homework and quit listening to your stupid blasphemous preachers who your feeble little minds to join their personal hate army against humanity, because they themselves (just like you) intend to impart feeble minded and deranged values onto everyone else. Be warned, your selfishness, hatefulness, blasphemous, and religious vanity will face its truth in righteousness. Now you GET OVER IT … because being gay will NEVER go away you pigs.

Those who believe in "social justice" who even have the audacity to compare the treatment of Black Americans in this country to that of homosexuals clearly demonstrate a twisted sense of morality!

It's almost as if you "liberals" are saying that Black people owe you for helping them obtain basic human rights. Maybe because you never sincerely liked Black people in the first place, but hoped that by supporting them, they would in-turn support your fringe ideologies.

Last time I checked, gay people were never made into slaves, never lynched in masses, never raped by their White masters, and never even deprived of decent schools or jobs. I am quite sure that IF gay people were ever treated this way, they would suddenly discover they were "straight" real quick. And yet you will continue to draw these parallels, and act as if it wasn't the right thing to do to fight for Black people to have these basic human rights, simply because they've "turned their backs" on your darling minority group -- the gays. Unbelievable!

Compared to what Black Americans had to go through, the only thing that gay people have lost is a piece of paper and the legal right to force the rest of society to accept YOUR lifestyle choice.

Afterall, that's all marriage legally is - a piece of paper that confers unified social acceptance of a "special relationship". Only problem is that while 99.99% of society accepts straight marriages as legitimate, less than 50% accept gay marriages.

You can't make people accept you. Black people understand this quite well. Even today, many White people in America will avoid walking on the same street as a Black person. Should we now make a law that forces White people to shake hands with every Black person they meet?

Gay people want to bully people into accepting them, and all this is going to create is more hostility. So sorry you couldn't get your damn piece of paper. Boo hoo! No one is stopping you from having a committed relationship like marriage, and you can even call it a marriage amongst yourselves and your supporters. There are even churches willing to marry you, although I guess most of you are atheists.

But WE don't want the courts telling us that we have to call your relationship a marriage. And I think we as a society have a right to vote on an agreeable term to give to your relationships, and that term is not "marriage", because like it or not a majority of people do not consider your relationship or lifestyle choice to be a marriage.

You know what? Do you think that if the government stopped giving out marriage certificates to straight people that they'd stop getting married? Of course not. People will do as they please, with or without soceity's approval. So go ahead and do what you think is right, but just don't try to force all of use to agree with you. Ok?

If gays were depending on blacks to take Prop 8 down, then they aren't as good at math as they are with gentrifying black communities (oh wait...could that have been it?)

Black people make up a little over 6% of CA population—the smallest minority next to Pacific Islanders. That's about 2.15 million in a state of over 35 million.

Just for kicks, that's only about 1 million eligible voters. Highest black voter turnout by county? Bout 62% in LA. Let's be generous and apply across the board...

620,000 eligible black voters. If 70% voted yes for Prop 8... 434,000...but that percentage is a random sample and not total numbers.

So, yeah. Count on 6% of the population to turn it around. Seems like the white gays blaming blacks should have started their campaign at home...

This isn't complex. The majority of white and asian voters voted no. So if you are gay, there is no other way to look at it but that the black and latino votes took away your rights. Its very sad, but sticking your head in the sand doesn't negate the truth of what happened. And believe me, no one fights for the rights of those who are are taking away your own rights -- this rift will be long and deep.

Yes8 wrote:

"But enough is enough. Where would we draw the line, that anyone has to right to marry the person they love. Are we gonna alllow a father who falls in love with their daughter the right to marry her?"

I'll never understand what's wrong with the braincells of people who make these arguments. We draw lines where it helps society and individuals as best as we can. We don't say "Well, if we let 16 year olds drive we have to let 5 year olds drive!" Life is about drawing lines. Ones that line disallowed interracial marriage. Once it required a woman to have the consent of her parents. The world changes, and we learn things. A man marrying his daughter obviously damages family relations not to mention introducing horrific genetic difficulties. This will never be allowed. But just as we draw a line on when people can drive, drink, vote we have to draw lines.

Some people just took the kneww-jerk simplistic way out on this one.

All you folks on this message board who are blaming the African American community for Prop 8 passing are so misguided. Since when have black people in this country held such power. Oh yeah, maybe since Obama won. LOL. That said, what other time in history have we ever held such power? The answer is never. Black folks in this country have suffered enumerable injustices, especially prior to the Civil Rights movement, but along side our gay, straight, white, black, latino, jewish brethen & many others, we have been able to successfully change laws and eventually people's minds.

I'm a black woman who lives in San Francisco and my husband and I were vehemently opposed to Prop 8 and voted accordingly. However, every time I speak about this propositon, when I sat down to vote on it, I had to constantly say in my head, I'm for gay marriage, but my vote should be NO. A no vote meant yes, YES vote meant NO. Who could keep it straight, but I digress.

Getting gay marriage to become legal in this state and eventually the country will require an enormous amount of work, the kind of work we saw at the grassroots level that got Obama elected. Who among us thought it was going to be easy? Is it because we live in the more liberal parts of the state? Well, I have news for you all, most of it is podunk. People are backwards and even when they aren't, they are religious, small minded, racist, sexist and homophobic. That said, instead of continuing to focus on the votes you did not get and the tiny minority groups that showed you no love, let's galvanize and figure out next steps. All this energy against the AA group comes a little too late. Those of us who believe in your right to marry should have focused more strongly on counteracting the false TV ads and finding ways to combat all the wrong messages put out there by the Mormans who poured over $40 million into the state. Talk about hypocritical, gays can't marry one another, but it's ok to marry children, but again, I digress. Back to my point. If you want to beat up on a particular group, beat up on yourselves. How strong was your commitment before election day to get the word out againts Prop 8. I just heard Melissa Ethridges' wife on Oprah talk about the fact that marriage between her and her wife was not that important. She's happy with civil union rights and her relatives referring to Melissa as her wife. How do you all feel about her saying that on national TV? I hope the public outcry against her is as strong as it continues to be against the 6.9% of AA who voted yes. I'd argue that such lackluster backing by a gay woman who does share a domestic partnership did little to champion this cause. It is precisely that kind of ambivalence and lack of support that damaged your rights.

I'll say it again, I'm a black woman who believes in your right to marry, what are the next steps? How can we fix this? Can someone write that story please.

We need to realize what is happening here. The 70% statistic I first heard was from Michael Savage and the Rush Limbaugh and then all of the other right wing talkies picked it up. It was used intentionally to distract the people from the fact that the religious right propelled this to victory and to try (some what successfully) to divide the supporters of the gay right and other minority right supporters. Don’t let them succeed. It was not the blacks or Latinos or the Asians that did this to us. It was that there was a lack of outreach to certain demographic by the no on 8 campaign and the extreme effort by Christian groups to drive a wedge into the minority community. It is a perfect example of how the white led Christian theocracy has used religion as it always does to separate, divide and abuse the minority communities. They have done this for hundreds of years, yet it gets a pass every time because we are distracted by their rhetoric. The news media picked this one talking point to sensationalize the story and by doing so they perpetuate and feed into the extreme right wing agenda which is to destroy gays and minorities before the coming of Christ. Dr. Dobson from focus on the family said in an interview that he personally could not go to heaven until he had defeated gay marriage, and overturned roe v. wade to prevent abortions. Talk about someone with a personal agenda. Well don’t be fooled, these people also think Obama is a "secret Muslim" and the anti-Christ. If this is so, as Christian I welcome the coming of the antichrist because that means the 2nd coming of Christ is near and that is a great thing in Christianity. However as a Christian I also se this for what it is, just rhetoric and hate mongering to continue to divide minority communities to prevent them from making any progress in their battle for their goals.

I like Obama being a black man, and think he makes wise decisions. But the idea that we are brothers and sisters with gay people, or that citizens of a country are brothers and sisters is just not an accurate statement. Being a part of a country and citizens of the same country is not the same as being part of the same family.

We are all American's and should treat each other the way we want to be treated. All rights and privileges should be afforded to same-sex couples they should be given a name that accurately depicts their union.

Their union though is not the same as heterosexual marriage, and differs on a biological level, in the level of offspring, and also in what their marriage causes. A man and a woman's union causes each genders weaknesses to be eliminated. The weaknesses of a woman are taken care of by the Man. The man's weaknesses in certain areas are eliminated by the woman. Thus the purposes for their union to eliminate both weaknesses and for them to become one.

A woman and a woman are biologically the same, thus they are unable to cover for the others weaknesses because biologically they are the same. A man and a man have the same weaknesses thus their union does not have the same benefits or end's that a man and a woman's marriage does.

Thus it should by the law be referred to by a different name, so that it's not called the same as a heterosexual marriage. Because they are different and should be referred to differently.
Other differences a child had by a same sex couple, is unable to look like both parents, it can only look like one or the other. In sexual intercourse due to the incompatibility of women's sexual organs they are not able to sexually become one.

The idea that black people hate gay people and that this is the reason for support proposition 8 is incorrect. I am a black man, and I see there are differences between the union of a man and a ewoman, and the same-sex unions. It is because of these differences on a biological level, and in the functions of the marriages that prop 8 was supported. That we with stood up saying that we people do not agree with the decision of the courts, that marriage between a man and a woman is named for it's uniqueness and what is possible in the relationship that is not possible in the relationships of same sex couples. To allow them the same name as heterosexual couples is in-accurate and unjust.

Why? because of the differences. What differences? The fact that even if a Gay couple decides to have a child, there is no way for that child to look like both parents. It can only look like one of the mothers or one of the Fathers. They are not through their union able to product an offspring that is a reflection of both people. They are not able to merge.

Also if we just look at the two biologically. Naturally speaking, and look at how the bodies are made, a man's body is able to become one with a woman's sexually. A woman is not able to become one with another woman, due to the incompatibility of their sexual organs. Men have to go into a place designed for waste, and have to get perhaps a surrogate mother if they wan't children. Or bring a child from a previous marriage.

Then if we don't look at children, the biological differences between a man and a woman. The idea that where a woman is weak a man is strong, and where a man is weak a woman is strong. That through their marriage, the purpose for it was the elimination of weaknesses in both parties.

This does not happen with a union between a woman and a woman, or a man and a man. They are both the same biologically and weak in the same areas, thus not causing their biological differences to be successfully eliminated by their union.

Thus a different name is needed describe the union between a man and a man, and a woman and a woman. Why ? Not because of bigotry or racism or any of these things the gay marriage movement is using to mobilize it's forces. The reason gay unions should have a different name is because their union is different. It's different on a biological level, it's different in the area of offspring, it's different in what their union achieves, it is altogether different and to call it the same thing is incorrect and inaccurate.

This is just a thought, but no matter how hard gay couples want a child that looks like both of them they can't. There is no law they can pass, no Supreme court they can go to, that will allow them the ability to produce a child that looks like both of them. The child will either look like part of one of the women, or one of the men. The laws of nature will not change just because you really want them to. Then why should we change the legal laws of this land just because gay people really want something. Rally want to have what heterosexuals have had, and have been provided through the naturalness of their relationship.

Frankly, I don't care who gets married as long as everyone is treated equal. So, the reason I voted against it is because of the two parties that involve this issue (churches, gays) would not be equal. The churchs would not have the protection to continue to their beliefs if this lawpassed. They would be considered to be hate mongers and therefore could lose or definitely lose their 501(c) status and force the churches to marry people against their beliefs. Freedom of religion is the reason why America came to be. So, Gays believe they are discriminated, what would happen to churchs?

I'm writing a research paper on homosexuality. Its a shame so many people has lost faith in God.They blame blacks for being religious. Knowing their the most religious group of people in the world. Statistics has proven this to be true. I believe you can love whoever you choose. But no one has the right to go against GOD orders. I sin all day everyday. I'm not trying to make it law. I preach to younger folks dont follow my footsteps. Gays should except their sins and come to chruch pray and ask for forgiveness. God loves us all. God has the power to show you who's God. If homosexuality is okay even if the bible says its not than serial killers have the right to continue to have no regards for human life. They to have rights. I'm not judging but we can't let our sins over power our beliefs. on all our currency in our court room it state "IN GOD WE TRUST." Than we must trust in word. Genisis, Leviticus, Romans. 1 Corithians and much more. Respect that people came out a vote and their vote should be respected Win some Loose some. GOD WILL ALWAYS WIN!!!! Gays are sinner we all are God loves us all.

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